U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Fighting terror with error: the counter-productive regulation of informal value transfers

NCJ Number
Crime Law and Social Change Volume: 45 Dated: 2006 Pages: 315-336
Nikos Passas
Date Published
22 pages

This paper challenges the widely shared view that the United States and international frameworks regulating terrorist finance and money laundering (AML/CFT) is productive and effective.


Through a careful look at the evidence regarding the formal and informal fund transfer systems, this paper shows that security, crime control, and economic policy objectives are systematically frustrated by ill-conceived and misapplied rules. U.S. federal and state regulations in particular illustrate how unrealistic, unaffordable, and counter-productive are current arrangements. The paper concludes with some suggestions about how to reverse the ongoing fact-free policymaking process. (Published abstract provided)